Honda WSBK Announces Changes for 2013

September 22, 2012
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
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Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Jonathan Rea test at Assen in The Netherlands.
Jonathan Rea signed on to remain with Honda in World Superbike for 2013, one of a number of announcement’s Honda recently made regarding plans for 2013.

Honda announced some big changes for the 2013 World Superbike season, including a new rider line-up and a new title sponsor.

Current Honda rider Jonathan Rea has signed on to ride for the WSBK team once again, and he will be joined by Leon Haslam, currently of BMW Motorrad. Next season will be the fifth year Rea has been with Honda and his sixth year with Ten Kate.

“I’m happy to continue my partnership with Honda in this exciting championship,” said Rea. “I’ve been loyal to Honda my whole career and that’s because I believe in them as a company and I believe that we can achieve more together in the future. It’s no secret that we’ve been lacking in certain areas but I know there is a team of determined and dedicated guys working away both at the races and at the workshop to improve the bike and to try and be a consistent front runner for next season. They’ve got some very exciting plans for 2013 and beyond, and I’m sure that with a strong team-mate like Leon, we can all work together to make next season memorable for all the right reasons.”

Haslam has a history with the team as well, riding the CBR three years ago. His father Ron was also part of the Honda racing effort, racing with the team in the 500cc Grands Prix. Lorenzo Zanetti will ride for Honda in World Supersport, alongside Michael van der Mark. Van der Mark is the current leader of the Superstock 600 UEM championship and he has spent the previous five years piloting a Honda.

Pata, an Italian snack manufacturer, will be the new title sponsor and the teams will be officially known as Pata Honda World Superbike and Pata Honda World Supersport. Once the 2012 season is ended, the riders and teams will begin a wide-ranging testing and development process in preparation for the coming year.

Team Manager Ronald ten Kate added, “As we all know, Honda is a company whose history is based on racing. Ten Kate Racing is the same, and to find a new partner that is so passionate about our sport seems to be a perfect fit for us. We are truly excited and honored to join forces with Pata for next year. Our new Superbike rider line-up with Jonathan and Leon is stronger than ever and, on the technical side, there will be a lot of upgrades for next season on all fronts, so we really can’t wait for 2013 to start. We are back to full strength with our Supersport effort and have two exciting riders. With Lorenzo we have a lot of experience and talent and in Michael we have a direct product of our Junior program, who also happens to be our first Dutch rider, which makes us all very proud.”